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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 35

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-35

The six last chapters of this book are chiefly a repetition of what the Lord had commanded Moses. Hence the substance of them has been anticipated.


God who commanded his sanctuary to be made, has counted the costs, by amply providing the means of its erection. The gifts we find must proceed from a willing heart, and the work must be achieved by those whose spirit he had stirred up. The nation, men, women, and artists, were all cheerfully employed in preparing the habitation of the Most High. Let the christian world learn to do all the works of piety and of charity with these views, and in this spirit. Let us say, with Origen, Lord Jesus, grant that I may have some monument in thy tabernacle. Oh I would wish that some part of the gold might be my oblation, of which the mercy-seat is made and the ark covered, or out of which the candlestick is beaten. But if I have neither gold nor silver, I would at least wish to give brass for the sockets and the rings, and for other things prescribed by the command. Oh that I were one of the princes, that I might offer precious stones for the priestly vestments. That not being in my power, let me find the favour of offering goats’ hair to the temple of my God, that I may not be found unfruitful in his presence.

Among the Hebrews we might now have seen a noble spirit. The Lord had once more promised to dwell among them, and accompany them to the good land. The princes offered their richest gifts, the ladies offered their jewels of gold and silver. They left to themselves only the simple charms of nature, that their minds might enjoy the nobler virtues of a meek and quiet spirit. The poorer women, destitute of gold, but rich in the labour of their hands, took hold of the distaff, and spun the yarn for the pavilion of God; and those trained to the finer works of the needle, embroidered the curtains with beautiful devices. Let the christian church catch this holy ardour, and serve God and his cause with a heart equally prompt and willing in his work.

The skilful artist, fraught with Egyptian science and celestial tuition, proceeded with the work. Struck with the simple majesty of the sacred model, they added no devices of their own, but conformed their work to the divine counsel and command. What a pattern for christian ministers to follow. Let us disencumber ourselves of the canons and creeds of corrupt ages, and go back to the fountains of scripture for pure water, and to the primitive church for perfect models, that we may build according to the Saviour’s heavenly plan.

Many of the particular parts of the tabernacle mentioned here, are explained in the preseding chapters. The cubit is thought by Dr. Lightfoot to be but eighteen inches.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Exodus 35". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/exodus-35.html. 1835.
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